Posts by Gordon Cameron

  • The rebirth of the space sim

    Gordon Cameron at Plugged In8 days ago

    Space…the final frontier? Actually, in video games, it was pretty much the first one.

    No sooner had the concept of electronic gaming popped into some clever university students’ heads than 1961’s Space War hit mainframes, and in the 1970s a text-based Star Trek strategy game was all the rage. By the early 1980s, a series of ambitious titles were putting gamers in the cockpits of virtual spacecraft: Star Raiders, the original Star Wars arcade game, and the epic trading/combat sim, Elite.

    It’s odd, then, that today’s top-shelf video games seem a little earthbound. It’s not that sci-fi franchises aren’t still around -- Halo, Dead Space, Titanfall, and Killzone come to readily to mind -- but you tend to spend less time flying spacecraft in these titles than running around wielding laser guns. Niche titles like EVE Online, the X series, and Darkstar One have continued to appease the hardcore over the past decade, but the mainstream success of hits like Wing Commander and X-Wing seems to be a thing of the past.

    So what happened to the space sim?

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  • Review: Addictive ‘Hearthstone’ is your new favorite card game

    Gordon Cameron at Plugged In1 mth ago

    I thought I was through with Azeroth when I canceled my World of Warcraft subscription years ago. They’ve pulled me back in -- but now I’m just hanging out at the tavern, playing cards.

    It may seem odd for Blizzard, the makers of the world’s biggest subscription-based MMORPG, to downshift to what seems a relatively small-scale, even trifling effort. There’s no vast open world here, no mighty armies contending, no graphical razzle-dazzle or epic storyline. There’s just a virtual tabletop with some collectible cards laid out in a turn-based, one-on-one competition.

    Not to worry: there’s a method to Blizzard’s madness. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft brings the illustrious developer into the much-maligned free-to-play market, but in the best way.

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  • Dino eyes are watching you in this creepy illusion

    Gordon Cameron at Plugged In3 mths ago

    One of the simplest of all illusions is also one of the most eerily convincing.

    It’s called the Hollow-Face Illusion, and it’s based on the human brain’s bias for seeing a concave (pushed-in) face as convex (pushed-out). Walk around such a face and, as long as your brain remains blissfully unaware of its concavity, the eyes will seem to follow you.

    Video illusionist Brusspup has taken one of the most famous such illusions (called the ‘Gatherings for Gardner’ Dragon, as it debuted at an event hosted in honor of legendary Scientific American puzzle maven Martin Gardner) and given it his own personal twist. He’s turned the dragon into a T-Rex, multiplied it, supersized it, and videotaped the whole thing – with a decidedly unnerving effect.

    You can see more of Brusspup’s illusions on his YouTube channel.

    For game news, free codes and more, Like us on Facebook and follow @yahoogames on Twitter!

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  • This deceptively simple animation trick has extra depth

    Gordon Cameron at Plugged In4 mths ago

    Last year, video illusionist Brusspup wowed us with a technique called ‘scanimation’ – basically, creating a short cartoon by passing a transparent overlay (printed with bars of a fixed width) over a static image that ‘contains’ several frames of animation within it. It sounds complicated, but the effect is simple, low-tech, and very do-it-yourself-able.

    Bruss has refined his technique, incorporating shades of gray for a more realistic, three-dimensional effect. You’ll see this improvement in three of the animations below, including a liquid ripple animation that could almost be CGI if you didn’t know better (though Bruss’ adorable cat is real, we think).

    To see more of Brusspup’s illusions, visit his YouTube Channel.

    For game news, free codes and more, Like us on Facebook and follow @yahoogames on Twitter!

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